Jimmy Patronis hits back at congressional Democrats’ ESG inquiry

jimmy patronis
'Rather than attacking Florida, they should be asking for help.'

Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis spurned a request by congressional Democrats for information related to Florida’s investment performance after the state divested from a firm that used environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) ratings when making investment decisions.

Democratic U.S. Reps. Luis Correa of California and Jerry Nadler of New York sent a letter to Patronis asking for the data, and criticizing the moves by Florida, Texas and other states to eschew ESG-minded investing. The letter cited a study by the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business that showed Texas’ rejection of such investors cost that state $500 million in unrealized interest on its bonds.

“When states substitute politics for the reasoned judgment of investment professionals, taxpayers foot the bill — along with the teachers, firefighters, and others who served their states and depend on well-managed public pension funds to safeguard their retirement savings,” Correa and Nadler wrote.

Patronis was nonplussed by the letter and pointed to Florida’s positive migration from other states as evidence the state’s anti-ESG stance is sound.

“The people they represent in New York and California are moving to the Sunshine State in droves and they’re bringing their pensions with them — and firing off an angry letter isn’t going to change that,” Patronis’ Chief of Staff Frank Collins said in a prepared statement. “Rather than attacking Florida, they should be asking for help.”

Florida, led by Gov. Ron DeSantis, was one of the first states to move away from investing in companies that use ESG factors. Patronis divested $2 billion from BlackRock in December 2022 over its ESG policies. In 2023, DeSantis signed a measure banning state and local governments from using ESG factors in their investment decisions, codifying an earlier move by the State Board of Administration, which oversees the state pension and other investment funds.

“Ultimately, the CFO only cares about returns on investment,” Collins said. “Those pension funds are for public servants, including firefighters and police officers, and the CFO believes using their pension money for political ends, when these heroes worked so hard for them, is abhorrent.”

Gray Rohrer


  • Michael K

    May 21, 2024 at 10:40 am

    I trust Blackrock more than a political hack like Jimmy Patronis. My Blackrock-managed retirement accounts are outperforming all others. I feel sorry for the folks who rely on pensions being controlled by these two idiots who are using public sector pension funds as a weapon in their culture war.

    • ScienceBLVR

      May 21, 2024 at 2:18 pm

      And if Jimmys got nothing to hide, bring that data out into the sunshine! As a retired FL teacher, don’t I have the right to know if the state’s GOP is squandering my pension funds for political purposes? And my personal BlackRock fund is doing quite well, also…

    • Ocean Joe

      May 21, 2024 at 4:01 pm

      When our first Republican governor (since Claude Kirk) took over, the goons from Texas showed up, and had Florida invest heavily in Enron, which was a scammer that went broke, costing the Florida pension fund millions ($300M).

      Playing games is standard operating procedure. Jimmy should go wait tables at daddy’s restaurant. I hear the food is good.

    • Earl Pitts "The Big Voice On The Right" American

      May 21, 2024 at 6:48 pm

      Thanks Jimmy for kicking the “Dook 4Brains Leftys” right in their corrupt “BLACKROCK TESTICALS” kick ’em again Jimmy.
      Jimmy pay no attention to the commentary of all the Dooks here within this artical.
      Florida’s got your back Jimmy,
      Elvis Pitts American

      • rick whitaker

        May 21, 2024 at 8:39 pm

        EARL SHITTS, why do you pretend to know about things other than being an 82 year old radio redneck shock jock back in the 70’s ? you had some real shitty bar b que restaurants. that does not make you a financial commentator. for instance, you like patronis. he’s maga, no wonder you like him, but not for any sound financial reasons. earl, you are a phony through and through. of course you already know that, you’re just ok with it.

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    • Ocean Joe

      May 21, 2024 at 4:02 pm

      Does this involve working with the Zieglars?

  • KathrynA

    May 21, 2024 at 9:20 pm

    I wonder!!?? I also wonder what ever happened to the good old Sunshine laws? I guess they’ve disappeared ; just like climate change has in Florida. Since there is no climate change in Florida now; maybe the insurance companies will lower the rates??? LOL!!

  • rick whitaker

    May 21, 2024 at 9:25 pm

    KATHYRYN A, the maga people in all states keep the sunshine out. voters need to keep that generalized fact in mind, it’s a very important political trait to avoid. light is good.

  • KathrynA

    May 22, 2024 at 9:35 am

    You are so right!! Totally agree!

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Comments are closed.


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